Madame olatana warbut as.., p.24

Madame Olatana, Warbut Astrologer, page 24

 

Madame Olatana, Warbut Astrologer
 


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  “Alvret doesn’t matter,” the Chief Justice said. “He’s never a swing vote. Let’s move ahead.”

  “Very good, Chief Justice,” the clerk said. “The first case before the court today is Lotgh Wilnaugh vs. Madame Olatana.”

  “Ah, yes,” the Chief Justice said. “Nobody wants to vote against Madame Olatana. Do I hear any dissent?”

  Heads shook. Justice Tiga said, “She told me how to get my youngest into Farnoll College. I can’t rule against her.”

  Justice Butsc threw in, “She told me when to sell those phony gold stocks. I lost just a bit, but certainly not as much as I had expected I would lose.”

  Justice Lona said, “I put in my application for this job on the very day she said was lucky for me. I was out of work and couldn’t pay her, but I’m catching up with bills now.”

  “Next case,” the Chief Justice ordered.

  XIII

  “The Universal Message Service is reporting you won that case,” Pache said in her matter-of-fact manner as Madame Olatana entered the office one morning about two weeks later.

  “There is a fine line between winning that case and losing that case, Pache,” Madame Olatana insisted, shaking her large head.

  “What did you lose?”

  “I found my advocate telling the Universe that my work is essentially entertainment, that’s my loss. My gain is that our line into the Universal Message Service is filled with entities from around the Universe who want this so-called entertainment,” Madame Olatana answered.

  “But the bill collectors have nearly stopped coming to the office,” Pache argued. “The schedule is crammed with appointments, and even the Queen is complaining you can’t see her right away.”

  “This is the price of notoriety,” Madame Olatana said. “We are busy, and you always have to ask for a prepayment. The buzz will die down soon, and we will be back to normal.”

  “But you can catch up with bills, and that Lotgh Wilnaugh has to pay all the costs of your lawyer,” Pache went on.

  “Lotgh Wilnaugh has no ability to pay anybody, Pache,” Madame Olatana said, snorting. “And the future doesn’t look good, either. He will default on all these payments, and my lawyer will look to me for a payment.”

  “How can your lawyer look to you?” Pache asked incredulously. “The Supreme Court was very clear, according to this article in the Universal Message Service. You are absolved of all responsibility for the mess Lotgh Wilnaugh has made of his life, and he has to pay all the costs.”

  “There will be extra charges, and I will receive a bill,” Madame Olatana said. “I know how these things work, and my lawyer and his slimy Earthling mouthpiece cannot live on empty judgments. Meanwhile, I have a much larger practice, and my lawyer knows it. I have profited by this case.”

  “So I need to continue to take prepayments?” Pache asked.

  “Until the cows come home. We have got to get our receivables down to nothing, even if a few clients are disgruntled about it,” Madame Olatana answered.

  “Even the Queen?”

  “My heavens, don’t think of asking Her Majesty for a dime! Just send the statement each month, and let Her Majesty figure out when the time is right to pay my bill,” Madame Olatana said.

  “Business as usual,” Pache grumbled.

  12 King Edsella

  I

  On the date the Earthlings on Warbut called September 22, 2249, Dr. Harda Mri said, “Something’s up with Eddie,” as the daily staff meeting in its office came to a close.

  “I do wish you wouldn’t call it Eddie,” Dr. Sepr Shu, the chief psychiatrist at the Alto Reste Hospital on the planet of Lillitzen, complained to its hospital administrator. “The Universal Supreme Court stripped away King Edsella’s duties, but Its Majesty retains the royal title for life.”

  “And our best inpatient suite,” Dr. Harda Mri complained as the other staff members hurried out. “Anyway, Dr. Sepr Shu, King Edsella’s brain monitors are inching upward, a bit every day. Nurse Ocli thinks King Edsella is plotting some new bombing.”

  “Nurse Ocli is probably right,” Dr. Sepr Shu replied, nodding its massive head. “However, I cannot see how Its Majesty can find the funding for more bombs. The Universal Supreme Court sentenced it to solitary confinement, with our best accommodations, and with all the calls on the Universal Message Service it wants to make. King Edsella has no allowance for buying bombs or even a new suit of clothes.”

  “There was another call to the planet of Warbut, just yesterday,” the hospital administrator told the chief psychiatrist.

  “Warbut! That’s the place where two bombs fell!” Dr. Sepr Shu cried.

  “Should we have somebody monitor all the calls, incoming and outgoing?” Dr. Harda Mri wondered.

  “Where can Eddie be getting the funding for more bombs?” Dr. Sepr Shu mused, ignoring the administrator’s question.

  II

  “I sent seven hundred in prepayments to the bank a few minutes ago,” Pache told Madame Olatana as the astrologer showed the last client of the day out the reception room’s door.

  “A big day for us, Pache,” Madame Olatana replied.

  “That king agreed to four hundred.”

  “What king?”

  “King Edsella of Lillitzen. Who is he?” Pache asked.

  “Mercy! King Edsella wants a consultation?” Madame Olatana cried.

  “But who is he?” Pache pressed.

  “It is not a he. It is an it, Pache,” Madame Olatana said.

  “One of those androgynous guys? And still the king of a place on Lillitzen?”

  “Everyone on Lillitzen, except for a few visitors, is androgynous,” Madame Olatana replied. “And this King is serving a life sentence in a psychiatric ward for leveling the late King Hutarfe’s castle and murdering several of King Hutarfe’s employees.”

  “Was that the bombing where you told the Queen to get out of town with the kids?” Pache asked. “Her Majesty told everybody about it, in the strictest of confidence.”

  “We never talk about advice given to a specific client, Pache, but I could see trouble all over the charts of their majesties,” Madame Olatana said. “This King Edsella now has at least four bombings to its credit. The Universal Supreme Court has been willing to uphold four bombings, anyway.”

  “Four!” cried Pache.

  “Two on Warbut, one on Drintde, and one on Earth,” Madame Olatana told the receptionist.

  “There’s the castle and that ship in the northern ocean on Warbut that held only a few starving Wiklvings,” Pache enumerated. “What happened on Earth and on Drintde?”

  “On Drintde, the entire governmental quadrangle was leveled, just when it was almost finished and ready for occupancy, Pache. The best feature was a nearly exact duplicate of a beautiful building on Earth in the city of Toronto. The king of Drintde was especially proud of it, saying it would be a tourist attraction for millennia to come,” Madame Olatana answered.

  “Leveled, eh? Anybody killed?” Pache asked.

  “The king of Drintde himself was murdered. His body was found in the rubble several weeks later. And, of course, all the workers were murdered, too, including a very superior Earthling who was that king’s brother-in-law,” Madame Olatana said.

  “A superior Earthling?” asked Pache incredulously.

  “Hard to believe, Pache, but this Earthling was a famous plumber and scientist. He was married to the king’s sister, a Drintde woman who became the next monarch,” Madame Olatana went on.

  “A widow and a queen! Some gals have all the luck!” Pache said. “And this king had no children?”

  “He had a half-breed daughter with an Earthling woman, but the Drintde subjects would not accept this child as his heir. The Earthling woman had died in childbirth, as Earthling women tend to do when delivering a child whose father is an enormous alien, like this Drintde king. After her death, he became almost a recluse, interested only in his building projects,” Madame Olatana replied.

 
And this new queen actually married an Earthling, one who was destined to die with his building project?”

  “Indeed. It was on her chart, all of it, but she had never called me for a reading. I could have told her to never marry that fellow, but some people are reluctant to ask for advice,” Madame Olatana moaned.

  “And that bombing on Earth?” Pache pressed, anxious to avoid Madame Olatana’s usual stories about entities who are too pound-foolish to call for astrological readings.

  “The entire convocation center of Cambridge University in England was leveled,” Madame Olatana answered. “This was another bombing directed at Warbut, since it was thought Queen Bartlia VI would be attending a graduation there. However, Her Majesty had died a few days earlier in a separate accident. The Universal Supreme Court decided the bombs had been planted and the crew had taken off in a craft toward Lillitzen a few days before the detonation. The court clearly found King Edsella at fault, and it was at that time the court ordered it into solitary confinement.”

  “And this nut is our client? What are you going to be able to tell it? What chance does it have for love, career, money, or self-aggrandizement?” Pache cried.

  “I better get moving on that reading so we can move some of the prepayment into our current funds,” Madame Olatana insisted as she hurriedly walked toward her consulting room with its many computers able to report on the transiting motions of the Lillitzen star’s planetary system.

  “King Edsella will call tomorrow for an exact appointment,” Pache shouted into the consultation room.

  “Tell it we are entirely ready,” Madame Olatana bellowed in return.

  III

  “Yes, Your Majesty, Madame Olatana is entirely ready to present your reading,” Pache told King Edsella when it called the next day.

  “Well, I think tomorrow or the next day would be convenient,” the locked up and deposed monarch replied. “Today I want to give you money.”

  “You have already given me the prepayment, Your Majesty,” Pache said. “You don’t owe additional funds.”

  “How about, young lady, if I give you ten thousand in Universal Gold from my account at the Universal Bank of Switzerland on Earth. How much would you charge me to send a portion of that to my colleagues on Earth?” the insane monarch asked.

  “You want us to launder Swiss francs? Eighteen percent,” Pache said as she looked at the instructions Madame Olatana had given her.

  “And the entire transaction will be handled within two hours?” King Edsella asked.

  “Within thirty minutes, according to our procedures, Your Majesty. We cannot hold Swiss francs for more than an hour,” Pache said.

  “Excellent,” replied the former monarch.

  IV

  “Did you pay that bill from the Universal Message Service, Pache?” Madame Olatana asked later in the day.

  “I sent them eighteen hundred in Universal Gold just a couple of hours ago, Madame,” the receptionist replied. “That gives us a credit of forty-seven dollars.”

  “Excellent,” Madame Olatana replied. “Now I can sleep at night.”

  V

  “Eddie’s made seventeen calls about laundry,” Dr. Harda Mri, the administrator of the Alto Reste Hospital, told Dr. Sepr Shu, the hospital’s chief psychiatrist, as the two physicians met in a conference room.

  “Laundry?” Dr. Sepr Shu wondered. “Has there been a problem with getting clean sheets or clean clothes to its suite?”

  “None at all, Doctor. We have no problems with laundry at this hospital,” the administrator answered in something of a huff.

  “Its Majesty is in worse condition than I had ever imagined,” Dr. Sepr Shu said, shaking its head. “We are probably getting near the end, Doctor.”

  “I certainly hope so, Doctor,” Dr. Harda Mri answered. “Eddie has been in our best suite for over ten years, and nobody is paying the bill.”

  “What! I thought the Crown was picking up the tab!”

  “The Universal Supreme Court ordered King Edsella to spend the rest of its life in our hospital, but the Court did not specify that the current Lillitzen monarch was to pay our fair rate,” the hospital’s administrator told the chief psychiatrist. “This expense is now charged to overhead, and every other patient pays a portion of it.”

  VI

  “Now, Your Majesty, just ask your questions. We can look forward in time as far as you wish,” Madame Olatana said as she began her reading for King Edsella.

  “When will I get my wish?” the insane former monarch quickly asked.

  “Wish, Your Majesty? A wish is governed by the eleventh house, and your eleventh house is not yet under favorable influences. However, in seven months you will be granted a wish, perhaps two. Seven months from today,” Madame Olatana predicted.

  “And health?”

  “Health is indicated by the aspects made to the ruler of the sixth house, Your Majesty,” Madame Olatana said. “I see no problem with your health. In fact, most entities would be very happy to have your health aspects. Some of my clients would be willing to exchange any amount of money for your health, if that could be done.”

  “Eh?”

  “Health, Your Majesty, is a culmination of the habits and mindsets of a lifetime. If you keep to good habits in diet and exercise, and if you think happy thoughts about your life, your health will be glowing,” Madame Olatana added, just to make sure Its Majesty was able to understand her.

  “And when am I going to get out of this mental institution?” King Edsella wanted to know.

  “I cannot say, Your Majesty,” Madame Olatana replied. “The twelfth house of the horoscope rules all involuntary incarceration, and this house will be afflicted for years and years and years.”

  “What good is a reading with you if there is no good news?” King Edsella roared.

  “You have some good news about a wish, to be granted in seven months, Your Majesty,” Madame Olatana replied. “And your health remains an advantageous factor in your existence.”

  “What is a wish and good health if I am to be locked up here for years and years and years?” King Edsella snarled.

  “Each of us has some good aspects, Your Majesty, and each of us has some difficult aspects. Our challenge in this lifetime is to make a meaningful existence as we blend these talents and challenges,” Madame Olatana droned on.

  “This reading is nothing but nonsense! I want dates and amounts, and you are giving me platitudes! I will never call you again for a reading!”

  “Very well, Your Majesty. If you change your mind, we will be here for you.”

  The Universal Message Service signaled the end of the call as soon as King Edsella had slammed the terminal against the wall of its room at the Alto Reste Hospital.

  VII

  “Benny? I’m calling to wish you a happy birthday,” King Edsella said.

  “Yeah, boss. I got your cards,” Benjamin Sims, the loopy former monarch’s most trusted employee answered from his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, North America, on the planet Earth. He adjusted his translation cube so he would not miss any of his employer’s instructions.

  “You know, Benny, I have a wish coming true in seven months, and I want you to hear about it now,” King Edsella said.

  “Yeah, boss. Any wish of yours is a wish of mine,” Benjamin answered.

  “My wish, and your wish, is that you go to Farnoll, getting there in seven months, and visit the vacation home of the Chief Justice of the Universal Supreme Court,” King Edsella suggested.

  “That real big place that looks like Fallingwater?”

  “That’s the place, Benny. It is an exact duplicate of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, down to the last drop of water from the creek,” King Edsella answered.

  “And what do I look for?”

  “The place is open one day each week for visitors, and you need to tip the docent when he lets you into the restroom to relieve yourself. Not too much, and not too little. You don’t want to draw attention to you
rself,” King Edsella ordered.

  “Yeah, boss. Can I take my lady friend along?”

  “I enclosed various tokens of my best wishes in those birthday cards, Benny. You can use those tokens as you see fit,” King Edsella answered. “But no women involved in any trips to the restroom.”

  “Yeah, boss.”

  VIII

  Eight months after King Edsella’s reading, Lonl, Madame Olatana’s receptionist, greeted an unfamiliar face.

 
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